Teaching About the Nearness of God Through Jesus’ Parables

Jesus’ words reveal to us that we have direct access to a God who is neither remote nor distant, but present. Jesus told parables that present an image of God as one who is relentlessly searching us out and as one who takes great joy in our return to his arms. Our God is accessible, not aloof, withdrawn, or reserved. God is in pursuit of us and will not be satisfied until he has drawn […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Bible Stories

According to linguist Noam Chomsky, “Language embodies the world view of a culture and is unique to the culture that created it. It reflects values and concepts that are deemed to be the most important by a culture. A language describes the culture it comes from.” For this reason, it is imperative that Catholic parents speak God’s language at home, especially when children are preparing for a sacrament. What do we mean by the phrase, […]

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search

During the season of Lent, we reflect on the suffering and Death of Jesus. This is a good time to introduce or review the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. In addition to teaching children how to pray the Rosary, invite them to do a Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search. Download the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search reproducible and answer key using the form below. Introduce the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary […]

Laying the Foundations for Bible Literacy

Talk about the impact a book can have on a child: my wife and I (who were a grade-level apart from one another) both recall a set of Bible storybooks that the grade school we attended used over 50 years ago! It was a two-volume set—Old Testament and New Testament—with the story on one side of the spread and a color picture on the opposite side of the spread. Unfortunately, neither of us saved a […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Letting God’s Word Sink In (Lectio Divina)

When giving directions to young people for completing a task, catechists and teachers have grown accustomed to hearing at least one participant respond with, “Wait, what?” Experienced educators know that, when giving directions to young people, we have to repeat several times and check for comprehension. We can’t assume that the first time we say something, it has been heard and received! The same holds true with the Word of God. Often, upon first hearing, […]

Old Testament Timeline Activity

Explore some of the Old Testament stories we hear during Ordinary Time with the help of our Old Testament Timeline Activity. This one-page sheet for children pairs the engaging art of Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories with an activity to engage logical/mathematical learners. Pull out the glue and scissors, and look at stories from Isaac, Jacob, and Esau to the wise King Solomon. Use your Bible or the Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Getting to Know Your Bible Better

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore how to become more familiar with the Bible and how to teach children to get to know the Bible better.  For more information related to getting to know the Bible better, check out the following: Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session The Bible Blueprint: A Catholic’s Guide to Understanding and Embracing God’s Word Seek and Find Bible Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories

Pop-Up Catechesis: Reading the Bible as a Family

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at how to read the Bible together as a family with a focus on the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday, using the Sunday Connection. For more on reading the Bible as a family, check out the following: Using the Bible in Family Prayer: Praying with Young Children Leading Young Children in Prayer with the Bible Exploring the Good Word This Week as a Family

A Prayer for Catechists: Stories of Scripture

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. For more resources on Scripture in faith formation, see: Putting Scripture Front and Center in Faith Formation Are You Biblically Animated? Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session “What’s Your Story?” Inviting Children into a Healthy Narrative Bible Bell Work Biblical Literacy for Catechists

Bible Bell Work

I always have “bell work” for children to begin as soon as they arrive in the classroom. These are short activities that engage early arrivals as the rest of the class arrives during the first 10–15 minutes. While students are doing their bell work, I can take attendance, check homework, hand back completed work, and attend to other tasks, like notes from parents. One of the easiest forms of bell work I have is Bible […]

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